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Leading outdoor furniture company uncovers wealth of university design talent

Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2013

A talented student from Birmingham City University is set to see his design turn into reality after winning a competition by leading outdoor furniture company Hartman UK.

The Telford based company set final year BA Design Studies (Product and Interior Products Design) students a brief to design a new collection of outdoor furniture for 2015. The judges were so impressed with the high calibre of entries they have announced that the winning design - by Jonathon Davis - will now go into commercial production. The project is now in its second year following its success in 2012 which resulted in two students designs going into production.

Jonathon’s Bond-esque style, hyper ergonomic resin weave ‘Versaille’ chair and table set was described by Hartman judges as ‘contemporary, aesthetically pleasing, futuristic, and colourful’.

Jonathon will win £1,000 and runner up student Alexander Stefan Andrejczuk will also see his design, named ‘Oscillare’, considered for production for Hartman’s 2015 collection and receive a £500 prize.

Textile students are now in the process of creating new innovative designs for the products created by the product design students following their briefing from Gina Hinde and Phil Daniels from Hartman UK. There will also be an award to the textiles students for the best design and runner up awards.

Paul Facey, Hartman UK’s Sales Director, said: “All the designs were exceptional and our job was very difficult. Each piece of work was professionally presented and totally blew us away. The winner and the runner up stood out particularly in terms of design, style, shape, usability and the wow factor.”

“This competition was all about finding a design that could feasibly be brought to market, and we were stunned that we found so many designs that we could do that with. We can’t wait to see the amazing creations we’ve seen on paper become reality. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Birmingham City University on this exciting project, and look forward to seeing the end results as the designs go forward for manufacture. The students submitted a wide variety of high quality designs which reflect the amount of work they put in and their professional attitude.”

Charmaine Stint, Corporate Relations Manager, added: “Birmingham City University is an innovative and forward-thinking university with a focus on developing high quality graduate talent. Successful collaborative projects with industry are a vital part of preparing our students with the skills they need after leaving the university.”

The students were asked to consider commerciality and trends as well as material and production restraints such as shipping container sizes and durability.

The winning designs will be showcased as part of the Hartman 2015 collection at the outdoor living exhibition Solex in July 2014.

The Design Studies team have once again enjoyed the opportunity of working with Hartman and look forward to the opportunity of working with the company again in the future.

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